Colour 500-Series Palette mkII


Add three stages of real analog color to your setup in a single 500-series slot.

Revamped Controls. Dial in exactly the signal path you want with individual drive/trim knobs and bypass switches for each Colour. 21-position stepped controls make stereo matching and recall easy.

Still Radically Affordable. Despite featuring new controls, an upgraded signal path, and aluminum knobs (formerly a premium upgrade), the Palette mkII still comes in at an unbelievable price point.

Even DIY Friendlier. The Palette mkII is a painstakingly thought out and documented kit. Over the last few years, we've seen seen every possible snag a DIY project can hit, and built every way we can think of to prevent those snags into this kit.

Full Features List

  • 3 Colour sockets. Colour modules are sold separately. Browse our ever-broadening Colour spectrum.
  • Individual knobs and switches for each Colour
  • Master output trim/boost control
  • 21-position detented potentiometers for stereo matching and recall
  • Anodized aluminum knobs (previously an upgrade, now stock!)
  • Customize your signal chain by swapping Colours' positions
  • Ultra-transparent signal path when Colours are bypassed
  • Electronically balanced, line-level inputs and outputs
  • RGB indicator LEDs automatically light up to the hue of the Colours installed
  • Compatible with the 500-series format
  • Kit includes every part need to complete the Palette

What the Pros are Saying

"The Colour system is a fascinating example of what can be done with analogue electronics, and produces some great textures. If you have a 500-series with space for another module or two, this is a no-brainer."

-Mike Hillier

"I can't say enough good things about Colour. This product embodies everything Tape Op is about. It's rooted in DIY; it sounds good; and it's inexpensive, novel, fun, and wide open for experimentation. Right on."

-Scott Evans
TapeOp Magazine #107

"...the whole concept and execution works brilliantly: DIYRE’s Colour platform is a great way to add a little analogue character to your setup, or to dip those first tentative toes into the world of DIY."

-Matt Houghton
Sound on Sound Magazine

Signal Path

The balanced, line-level input signal is received via a THAT Corp. 1256 integrated circuit. From there, the signal passes through each Colour stage in series.

Each Colour stage includes a bypass switch and combined drive/trim control. The drive/trim control is a dual potentiometer that controls both a drive amplifier before the Colour and corresponding attenuator after the Colour. The result is that the Colour's intensity increases/decreases while the net gain remains the same.

The Colour stages are followed by a master output trim/boost control and bypass switch. Finally, the output signal is balanced via a THAT Corp. 1646 line driver IC.


Input Impedance 24kΩ 
Output Impedance 50Ω
Colour Controls Gain Range 0-18dB
Output Control Gain Range +/-6dB
Max Input Level 27.5dBu
Power Supply Voltage +/-16VDC
Power Supply Current 140mA
Chassis Requirements Compatible with any 500-series rack
Nominal Operating Level +4dBu

Real analog plugins.

Colour is a new format for analog audio gear designed for and by the DIY community. We took our favorite sounding analog circuits and put them on modules that are small, affordable, and swappable.

The Colour format consists of Colours and Palettes:

Colours are ultra-compact, pluggable analog circuit blocks that impart various types of analog color. Check out our ever-growing selection of Colours. Colours can be designed and released by anyone.

Palettes provide controls, power, and support circuitry for Colours. We currently offer the Colour 500 Palette and CP5 Mic Preamp with Colour.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
jams j.
well built. could use a few, critical elements.

there are 2 things i bought. one is the 500 module, and the other is the color card. i like the build quality and the idea very much. but the minimum setting on the module is too high. this might be helped if there was a “blend” knob, to reduce at least the amount of effect on the overall sound. i may try a different value pot in the unit to allow for a more subtle effect when turned all the way down, as i only really find it useful at the minimum setting. sounds like i’m complaining, but i like the unit. i just feel like it could be greatly improved by allowing for more subtle uses.

rich daring

love this. great little chefs kiss for your chain.

Paul Najar
Excellent Product

Does exactly what it says. The build I would call a lower intermediate. I built two of them plus 4 colours. They fit my 500 rack perfectly - not too tight like some other modules - which is good because I can see that they will come in and out of the rack often to switch on board jumpers and swap colours and the range of available colours is great and addictive. I bet you won't be able to stop at just a few. Will definitely be building more as time goes by. Mainly for mixing but also some recording.

Super fun, amazing sound, endless sonic possibilities

I have a few DIY audio projects under my belt now. I just finished my palette and 3 colours (15ips mk II, distortastudio, and toneloc compressor) and i can confidently say this is some of the most fun i’ve had building and playing with audio gear. I’m a hobbyist musician/producer and got into 500 series for more signal processing options and the cost of most modules quickly landed me here on DIYRE. Peterson’s youtube channel and products available here is unbelievable. The knowledge you pick up from putting these together and watching teardown videos is amazing. The manuals for every colour was super clear and easy to follow. Certainly reasonable for a beginner to build this stuff.

The sound is unbelievable. I’m putting together an album and i knew i wanted more analog processing on it and this is the perfect entry for me. Truly a sound you cannot achieve with even the most high end analog plugins. I’m chomping at the bit to buy another palette to do some easier stereo processing and to try some of the console colours. Thank you DIYRE for making this accessible, fun, knowledgeable, and a great experience overall.

Chad W
Great product

First of all, the design is genius. The ability to put various tones together and customize the signal flow with a single 500 series slot is brilliant. It really has opened up a whole new sound universe of possibilities to the Home/project studio World, not only because it’s compact, but because it is affordable. I can’t afford an 1176, Pultec EQ, or a vintage console (or any of their cheaper copy-cats either). But I can afford a stereo pair of CTX modules, some LTL Implodes and Rogue Air EQ. I put these all together In the two Palettes I bought in attempt to create the ultimate drum-stem processing Stereo channel. The sound is like nothing my DAW is capable of.

The build is a lot of fun. This project was only my second DIY electronics attempt. Besides destroying an IC slot and its op-amp, (oh and putting the variable resister in wrong and destroying that too...) I got the build right and it powered up and worked excellently the first time. I was kind of stunned. But the directions were meticulous, and it’s kind of hard to get something wrong when the process is explained in baby-speak. I’m NOT an audiotronics expert, but I completed it just the same.

In my opinion this is an absolutely necessary product for any small-budget home studio rig. The ability to bring a very analog sound in a flexible manner at a great price is really hard to say no to. And I didn’t :) You shouldn’t either.

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